Cyberattacks Against Healthcare Can Be Prevented

HealthTech Magazine

Alexander Grijalva, CISO, VillageCare

Healthcare’s cybersecurity problem is a half-century old affliction that began with the first step towards digitization.

When hospitals introduced computerized systems in the late 1960s and 1970s, they also unwillingly exposed themselves to cyber threats. To cyber criminals, healthcare organizations were “no [longer] viewed as…sacrosanct institutions of mercy” and consequently not immune to computer crime, wrote Robert A. Hershbarger in 1977.

Some of the hospital information systems developed in the 1970s (such as the Dutch BAZIS system) incorporated high availability and strict access control requirements in their designs. The need to safeguard hospital information system software and hardware components—including the patient data stored in system databases—against unauthorized access and use (and computer crime) was understood.

Of course, the IT operational environment of the 21st healthcare industry is significantly larger, more complex, and interconnected.

In the United States...

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